Guidance: David asked the Lord!

In reading through the books of Samuel over the past few days, I was struck by this repetitive phrase – “David asked the Lord … ”

Notice these verses-

  • David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?” “Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him. (1 Sam 23:2) NLT
  • So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.” (1 Sam 23:4) NLT
  • Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” (1 Sam 30:8) NLT
  • After this, David asked the Lord, “Should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?” “Yes,” the Lord replied. Then David asked, “Which town should I go to?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered. (2 Sam 2:1) NLT
  • So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” (2 Sam 5:19) NLT
  • And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. (2 Sam 5:23) NLT
  • There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.” (2 Sam 21:1) NLT

David sought God’s guidance in decision making.
He wanted to know God’s will.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Psalm 32:8-9 NLT

Do you have a decision to make? Need to be informed which way to go? As we read God’s word, ask Him in prayer, God gives direction. But notice in the above verses, God doesn’t want us to be like the horse or mule needing a bit or bridle to give direction. Instead, He wants us to have good sense!

God gave us understanding AND a covenant relationship with Him!
Lean into Him and trust Him for the way you should go!

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.

Psalm 25:4-5 NLT

We seek God’s guidance not just because we want a good or easy life – that’s not what is promised. David had to follow God into battle, just as we might have to do. Instead we seek God’s guidance because we want to imitate HIM! His paths, His truth, His salvation! Our hope is in Him, not a set of rules.

We seek God’s guidance out of an intimate relationship with the ONE who saves us, gave His life for us, and lives now
as our great high priest, interceding for us!

God, through His word, invites us to seek wisdom,
to ask Him for guidance,
and to trust Him to direct our steps!

Don’t worry about anything. Rather, in every area of life let God know what you want, as you pray and make requests, and give thanks as well. And God’s peace, which is greater than we can ever understand, will keep guard over your hearts and minds in King Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NTE

One last thought – David was not perfect. There are times when he should have sought God’s guidance and didn’t. Obviously when he took Bathsheba to his bed, and designed her husband’s death, David should have sought God. Imagine how the story of his life might have been different if we had recorded for us, “David asked the Lord, ‘Should I invite Bathsheba to my room?'” When seeking direction from God, we can know for certain that He will never direct us to sin. He will never contradict His word. David’s life is given to us (along with all of scripture) as an example to point us to Jesus! In His sermon on the mount, Jesus calls us to right living, to holiness, to maturity in our relationship with Him!

As we walk with Him, asking Him for direction,
He leads us in paths of righteousness.

He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden’s flowers bloom,
by waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since ’tis my God that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, he leadeth me;
by his own hand he leadeth me:
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me.

Joseph Gilmore, 1862

PS: Interesting story – On a Wednesday evening, Joseph Gilmore was preaching at a mid-week prayer service on the topic of Psalm 23. He wrote later, “I set out to give the people an exposition of the 23rd Psalm, but I got no further than the words ‘He leadeth me.’ Those words took hold of me as they had never done before. I saw in them a significance and beauty of which I had never dreamed…At the close of the meeting a few of us kept on talking about the thoughts which I had emphasized; and then and there, on a back page of my sermon notes, I penciled the hymn just as it stands today, handed it to my wife, and thought no more of it…She sent it without my knowledge to the Watchman and Reflector magazine, and there it first appeared in print December 4, 1862” (Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 616).

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One Comment

  1. This was great and I loved the closing story about the hymn. I never had heard that one. Thanks for the encouragement to seek God’s guidance in all things.

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